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Battle Over Supreme Court Nominee Will Get Nasty: Why Ginsburg Wouldn’t Approve

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If Joe Biden wins the presidency on Nov. 3, Democrats could try to blockade and stall the confirmation process of a Trump nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg till Biden’s inaugurated in late January.

They might consider it their answer to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to take up Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland 10 months before the 2016 election.

But, McConnell said there will be a vote on President Trump's nominee. 

"Now already some of the same individuals who tried every conceivable dirty trick to obstruct Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh are lining up to proclaim the third time will be the charm," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer added, "For hundreds of millions of Americans this vacancy on the Supreme Court puts everything, everything on the line."

Worse Than the Kavanaugh Hearings?

But the Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino wouldn’t recommend it. She said it hurt the Democrats politically last time they used such a tactic, and she should know, having co-authored the authoritative account of the battle over Brett Kavanaugh titled Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court.

“Stalling was definitely their technique during the Kavanaugh confirmation process,” she told CBN News. “I think it’ll probably be their technique again. Last time it appeared to backfire.” 

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But the Democrats probably can’t resist such tactics, so court-watcher John Malcolm at the Heritage Foundation opined, “I think this is going to make the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings seem like a dust-up.” 

Won’t be a Judicial Activist

It’ll certainly be contentious if the candidate is – as many expect – Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who Democrats believe would be in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.

If she does get the nod, it’s going to overjoy Americans United for Life (AUL). The pro-life group asked Trump to name her. And they say it’s not because of the abortion issue. 

“She is a jurist who recognizes that her highest calling and duty is to the US Constitution, is to the rule of law,” said AUL’s Catherine Glenn Foster. “Unlike many on the Left, unlike many of the judicial activists that we see, she is not going to let her personal preferences bleed into her rulings.”

‘Showed Great Grace Under Fire’

Democrats went after Barrett over her personal religious beliefs and fervent Catholicism in their attempts to keep her off the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017.

They badgered and harangued her, but Malcolm said she kept her cool.

“Anybody who watched that confirmation hearing was well aware of the fact that she showed great grace under fire,” Malcolm pointed out.

Full-time Professional, But Also The Mother of Seven

Foster contends that as a hard-working judge and mom of seven, Barrett exemplifies the kind of professional that equal rights champion Ginsburg fought so hard to protect and support in law during her early days as a legal advocate before joining the high court.

Foster said described Barrett as, “Someone who has proven that it is possible to both raise a family and participate actively in the public square, in civic life.”

And that includes also raising a Down’s Syndrome child and two adoptees from Haiti.

But none of her virtues or the fact that she’s a woman is likely to hold her attackers at bay.

The Kid Gloves WILL Come off

The Committee for Justice’s Ashley Baker observed up close today’s combative confirmation process while working to get Kavanaugh confirmed.

She told CBN News, “Just because it’s a woman doesn’t mean Democrats are going to handle the person with kid gloves.”

Carrie Severino worked in the Supreme Court while Ginsburg was there and mentioned the late justice disapproved of such bitter confirmation battles.  

During the combat over Kavanaugh, Severino said of Ginsburg, “She went on record saying ‘I don’t like the way things are now.’”

Need to Remember How to Love & Respect While Still Disagreeing Strongly

Some contend American politics have never been this toxic. Severino believes both sides could learn from the liberal Ginsburg’s genuine friendships with conservatives Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

“I think that’s something that unfortunately our society nowadays has lost far too much,” Severino noted. “So it’s a lesson and a reminder that we need to be able to disagree with people – even about issues that we hold very strongly – while still recognizing their common humanity and being able to treat them with love and respect.”

Ginsburg WAS a fierce fighter, Malcolm suggesting, “If Antonin Scalia was a lion in the law, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a lioness.”

She believed, though, friendship with foes was a virtue.

Severino shared, “I think that’s one of the positive things about life tenure on the Supreme Court is everyone there knows you’re going to be working with these same people for the rest of your life.  And so there’s no point making enemies unnecessarily.”

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About The Author


As a freelance reporter for CBN's Jerusalem bureau and during 27 years as senior correspondent in CBN's Washington bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, government, and God’s providential involvement in our world. Strand began his tenure at CBN News in 1985 as an evening assignment editor in Washington, D.C. After a year, he worked with CBN Radio News for three years, returning to the television newsroom to accept a position as a senior editor in 1990. Strand moved back to the nation's capital in 1995 and then to